See It, Find It, Buy It …

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This piece is on its way from Australia …

The world is your oyster, when it comes to shopping these days. Some areas of the world are better to shop from, than others. I have always said that, shopping from just any site that appears on the internet, may not always be wise.

Just because a site looks slick and authentic, and the merchandise is what you want, if you aren’t familiar with a particular seller, my caution is always the same:

Buyer Beware !!!

Social media has gone through many incarnations. And the ability to see something online, find it and then buy it, has become much easier, and A LOT more reputable. I have made some serious mistakes in trusting just any site out there, having been burned for hundreds of dollars by Shanghai gangsters.

I still will not shop in Asia. Not even on a selling platform like Ebay.

And lately it seems that something is going on, on Ebay. In the past, you could filter your shopping destination, to a particular zone. It is too bad that Australia is lumped in with Asia.

I try to stick to North America, and Australia, when I hit Ebay. Now, Ebay has disabled the filter by zone feature on their website. And the first location that masses on the front pages are items from China and Hong Kong.

To find what it is you are looking for, you have to scroll through pages upon pages of Asian merchandise to get to someone from the zone you are really looking for.

Pain in the Ass …

If you take, in combination, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Etsy, and Snapchat, you can find anything that is photographed, and attach it to a reputable seller. Like I said, this ability to link up with a reputable seller has gotten much better.

Over the past few months, my Instagram has ballooned. Friends of mine sport clothing they have bought from a particular creator, and posted photos of said clothing on their social media sites. We come along, see such clothing, and if you are like me, you probably wanted some of your own.

From this came clothing designers who come to my Instagram, and they follow me, and tell me to buy from their inventory and post a photo of that piece you have bought, and tag the creator. Etsy is a new site I shop at, because of Casey Neistat. He made a purchase, posted a photo, which generated huge business for the Etsy creator. Instagram is a huge site where you can confidently, see, find, and buy.

A few weeks ago, I was on a friends blog, and he posted a photo from a creator in New Zealand, called Odyn. I went over to Odyn and scored some of my own, from their Odyn collection, which will arrive here tomorrow. It took a month for them to hand sew all their gear.

Well worth the sweat equity.

I saw another set of gear from a seller in New South Wales, Sydney Australia. I had to wire the payment from my bank to their account, on the other side of the world, which added a few more days to shipment. But that was painless.

All of my gear from New Zealand and Australia is en route tonight.

The perk with shopping by zone, is the exchange rate. The best place to shop is where your dollar goes the furthest. If you can make a purchase and the exchange rate not kill you in the process, that’s the way to go.

Shopping in the U.S., Euro Zone or the British Pound, will cost you. I shop in Australia because the exchange is almost dollar for dollar. The Canadian Currency is about par, if not a few cents cheaper, going towards Australia. My shop in Australia saved me seven dollars on the exchange. New Zealand went with the U.S. dollar. So I paid a bit more on that one.

Each zone you shop from will either sell in their local currency or they will choose to run with a particular currency that translates across the world selling platform. Like the U.S. Dollar.

I’ve found that the trustability factor goes up, if you follow the logic of someone posting photos on social media. Because if they either create it, or wear it, that piece came from a reputable creator or seller.

Instagram has blown up with creators and sellers. To the point that new creators that have garnered business from a single photo, have expanded to go to other social media platforms and opened groups and business accounts, which has spawned even more business for their companies, moving product to further corners of the world.

The fitness clothing rage is alive and well. Now in year number two, as fitness clothing goes. I remember when I first noticed it, when I started loosing inordinate amounts of weight because of my medical regimen, which changed the way I live my life and the clothing I choose to wear.

Over the past year and a few months, cool clothing creators have come out of the wood work, so to speak. My friends sport clothing they buy, which spawns their friends to repeat that purchase, which drives business way up, and every time you buy something from a creator and you post a photo of your gear, YOU drive the business for the creator you sport.

When I went to Ottawa a couple of weeks ago, we photographed all the gear I had bought over the last month and Instagrammed them. This proved very good for each of the creators I sported.

Buy great clothing, by creators and designers, that work hard to produce quality gear. Creators that do their own work, “in house” by hand, always gets my vote.

It may take a few weeks to produce your gear, but it drives business in big ways. I’d rather buy from creators who want to make an honest days wages, because they are making the clothing we buy every day. By Hand …

There is good stuff to be had, created by great creators.

Get out there, and share in the creative cycle …

Monday Sports: Sidney Crosby Turns 30

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I may not be the best sports fan, but one HUGE part of who we are as a country is wrapped up in the Men and Women who play sports for Canada.

We Celebrate every win. We cheer at every Medal won. And we are Proud of our young people who have gone on to do great things for the country and in their respective teams world wide.

Sid the Kid turns 30 this week.

Oh the days of Thirty … I missed mine.

HALIFAX — NHL superstar Sidney Crosby said it’s “just a number,” as he turned 30 on Monday and brandished the Stanley Cup in a parade that wound through Halifax in his native Nova Scotia.

Crosby rode on the back of a white pickup truck as marshal of the city’s annual Natal Day parade, waving to thousands of fans who lined the streets for a glimpse of “Sid the Kid” and the revered cup.

Crosby told reporters he’d enjoy the celebrations before setting his sights on training camp with the Pittsburgh Penguins later this month. The team will be making a bid for its third straight championship.

“I have a pretty good understanding of how hard two is, so I don’t imagine what three must be like. I’d love to find out,” Crosby said.

“It’s gonna be tough but we’re going to training camp with that in mind so it’ll be a big challenge but, you know, why not?”

The three-time Stanley Cup champ and future Hall of Famer said NHL hockey just keeps getting faster, “And I like that.”

He smiled when asked if, at 30, he has any grey hairs yet.

“Lots,” he said to laughter from the room. “Greys and whites.”

Crosby, who is entering his 13th season in the league, said he fully realizes what the milestone age signifies for an athlete.

“It’s amazing how fast time goes by,” he said. “It makes you realize that it doesn’t get any easier and that’s why things like this (parade) — you have to enjoy it.”

And while he doesn’t plan to change his approach to playing the game yet, Crosby said there are certain realities that have to be considered.

“You have to understand that rest becomes a little more important. I’ve always kind of just adjusted and tried to evaluate things and I’ll do the same.”

Dressed in a ball cap, shorts and a white Penguins 2017 Stanley Cup T-shirt, a relaxed Crosby said having a few days with the cup never gets old.

Crosby took the cup to Halifax hospitals for children and veterans on Sunday, and said he celebrated with it that night with family and friends at his home in Enfield, N.S., outside of Halifax. Crosby declined to give details, saying with a grin reporters could probably “put two and two together.”

“The best part about it is to see everyone’s reaction (to the cup) regardless of whether they are a hockey fan or not,” he said.

As Crosby made his way to a truck waiting to take him to the parade, he was surrounded by a group of young children from a local hockey camp. He bent down and showed them the cup.

“Thank you Sidney Crosby” they chimed with delight. Another child yelled out “We love you Sidney Crosby.”

People lining the parade route sang Happy Birthday as Crosby passed, behind a marching band at the front of the parade.

It began in Halifax’s historic north end, and then across a harbour bridge to Dartmouth. Crosby rode on the back of a white pick up truck, waving to the crowd with one hand and steadying the large silver cup with the other.

The crowd cheered when the marching band played a rendition of Hockey Night in Canada.

Parade-goer Colin Roberts, 12, plays peewee hockey and said Crosby is a role model.

“He’s so good but he stays low key. He signs autographs.”

Roberts’ nine-year-old brother, Eric, said Crosby is also kind.

“He’s such a good player but he also takes the time to visit old folks’ homes.”

Sana Rehan said she became a Crosby fan after watching him play in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

“He’s so good, on and off the ice. He’s so humble and such a strong work ethic.”

Rehan said her family has bonded over hockey and watching Crosby ever since, and Monday was the first time they saw the hockey star — and the Stanley Cup — in person.

“He’s the best player in the world and we all became fans after that (Olympic) game.”

Her 12-year-old brother Ahmad, who will play bantam hockey next year, said Crosby made him want to play hockey.

“He’s got such skill. It makes you want to cheer for him.”

On Monday afternoon, Crosby took the cup to Rimouski, Que., where he played as a teenager in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Fans lined the road in downtown Rimouski as Crosby rode in the back of another white pickup truck with the cup.

He said although he has visited Rimouski since turning pro, it’s the first time with the cup.

“I thought it would be great to spend a couple of hours here and come back to a place that’s pretty special to me, so it’s nice to share with everyone here,” Crosby told reporters in Rimouski.

Crosby, who played for the Rimouski Oceanic between 2003 and 2005, said his junior stint was key to his development.

“You think about those years in junior,” he said. “That’s what is preparing you for the NHL on and off the ice … it was such a great environment. It was a great place to play.”

Asked whether the best birthday present would be a call from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman wishing him Olympic participation in 2018, Crosby replied: “Ha, I don’t know. I’m just trying to enjoy this right now, to be honest with you. As I said, this is a place I have great memories in. We’ll see what happens with that stuff down the road.”

Bettman announced this year that the NHL would sit out the 2018 Olympics in South Korea.